“As for what was sown
On good soil,
This is the one
Who hears the word
And understands it.
He indeed bears fruit.
In one case a hundredfold,
In another sixtyfold,
And in another thirtyfold.”
ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν καλὴν γῆν σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ συνιείς, ὃς δὴ καρποφορεῖ καὶ ποιεῖ ὃ μὲν ἑκατὸν ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα.
This explanation of the sower parable about the good seeds can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:20, and Luke, chapter 8:15, with Matthew closer to Mark. As for what was sown on good soil (ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν καλὴν γῆν σπαρείς), these are the people who hear the word of the kingdom and understand it (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ συνιείς). They then bear good fruit (ὃς δὴ καρποφορεῖ). They yield either a hundredfold (καὶ ποιεῖ ὃ μὲν ἑκατὸν), sixtyfold (ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα), or thirtyfold (ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα). Only about 25% of the seeds sown were effective. Thus, only about 25% of the people hearing the word of the kingdom will follow it. There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective. The seeds or the word that fell on the path, on the rocky ground, or the thorns were ineffective. However, even among the effective seeds that were on good soil, the word would have different results. Some would yield 100 times, some 60, and some 30. There was no magic formula. The circumstances among the good hearers would also bring about a variety of responses and effectiveness.
“Hear then the parable
Of the sower!
When anyone hears
The word of the kingdom
And does not understand it,
The evil one comes.
He snatches away
What is sown in the heart.
This is what was sown
On the path.”
Ὑμεῖς οὖν ἀκούσατε τὴν παραβολὴν τοῦ σπείραντος.
Παντὸς ἀκούοντος τὸν λόγον τῆς βασιλείας καὶ μὴ συνιέντος, ἔρχεται ὁ πονηρὸς καὶ ἁρπάζει τὸ ἐσπαρμένον ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ· οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν σπαρείς.
This is the explanation about the sower parable, especially the seeds on the path that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:13-15, and Luke, chapter 8:11-12, with Matthew closer to Mark. Jesus had asked them to hear this parable about the sower (Ὑμεῖς οὖν ἀκούσατε τὴν παραβολὴν τοῦ σπείραντος). He then explained that this was all about hearing the word of the kingdom (Παντὸς ἀκούοντος τὸν λόγον τῆς βασιλείας). However, they did not understand what they heard (καὶ μὴ συνιέντος). Thus, the evil one would come (ἔρχεται ὁ πονηρὸς) and seize or snatch away what had been sown in their hearts (καὶ ἁρπάζει τὸ ἐσπαρμένον ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ). Jesus said that this is the explanation about the seeds that had been thrown on the path or road (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ παρὰ τὴν ὁδὸν σπαρείς). These seeds were the words of the kingdom. The birds were the evil ones that came and devoured them, because they did not understand the words of the kingdom. Listening to the word was not enough. There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.
“Hatred stirs up strife.
But love covers all offenses.
On the lips of him who has understanding
Wisdom is found.
But a rod is for the back
Of one who lacks sense.
The wise lay up knowledge.
But the babbling of a fool brings ruin near.
The wealth of the rich is their fortress.
But the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
The wage of the righteous leads to life.
But the gain of the wicked is to sin.
Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
But one who rejects a rebuke goes astray.
Lying lips conceal hatred.
But whoever utters slander is a fool.”
Hatred stirs up things. However, love covers all faults. Wise lips have understanding. However, for the senseless they need a rod slap on the back. The wise ones have knowledge, but the babbling fools have nothing but ruin. The rich use wealth as a fortress. The poverty of the poor brings them to ruin. The righteous will have life, while the wicked will simply sin. When you follow instructions, you are on the path to life. However, if you reject a rebuke, you are probably going astray. Lying lips conceal hatred, but fools are slanderers.
Listen to me!
Be attentive to the words of my mouth!
Do not let your hearts turn aside to her ways.
Do not stray into her paths.
Many are those she has laid low.
Numerous are her victims.
Her house is the way to Sheol.
You will be going down to the chambers of death.”
This chapter ends with the death of the simpleton. Once again, there is the parental warning to pay attention to his words. They should not turn away from his warnings. They were not to listen to the smooth and seductive words of the prostitute. The adulteress had laid low many. They were to stay the path and not stray into her paths. Her house was the way to hell, Sheol, the dark underworld of death. Going into that house would lead to death. It is not clear how she actually killed them. This is a very strong warning against adultery and prostitution with the punishment as death.
“Do not enter the path of the wicked.
Do not walk in the way of evildoers.
Do not go on it!
Turn away from it!
They cannot sleep
Unless they have done wrong.
They are robbed of sleep
Unless they have made some one stumble.
They eat the bread of wickedness.
They drink the wine of violence.”
This father maintains that they should not enter the path of the wicked. They were not to walk with evildoers. They were to avoid them, turn away, and pass them by. These evildoer wicked people cannot sleep until they have done something wrong or made someone stumble. They eat wicked bread and drink violent wine. These metaphors tend to emphasis the evil nature of these people. Their very eating and drinking leads them further into evil ways.
“But I will enter your house,
Through the abundance of your steadfast love.
I will bow down toward your holy temple.
I will be in awe of you.
In your righteousness.
Because of my enemies
Make your way straight before me.”
Now David made his case for why he was not wicked. Mainly, because he was loved by Yahweh, he was able to enter the house of God. He would bow down before the Temple because he was in awe of Yahweh. He wanted Yahweh to lead him in the path of righteousness. He wanted Yahweh to make the path straight for him. Out of God’s love he wanted to follow the straight way of Yahweh.